John McDonnell 4 Labour Leader

Submitted by AWL on 20 November, 2006 - 1:41

Another world is possible

On 14th July the battle to be the next leader of the Labour Party became a two-horse race. John McDonnell, Hayes & Harlington MP and Chair of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, threw his hat into the ring. He needs all the support we can give him to ensure victory over the usurpers that have held our party captive for years.

It had been assumed that Gordon Brown would take over from Blair with no fuss. The press paved the way and will continue to attack anyone or anything that stands in his way. That is why we need to mobilise now.

We need to get union members back into the party to boost the vote for John. Every branch meeting, Regional Council, Trades Council or labour-orientated meeting should be leafleted and Labour Party application forms handed out. The importance of raising John's profile against the attacks he will receive in the gutter press is paramount.

It is a widely-accepted misconception that the Labour Party is beyond redemption and that we have to start again from scratch to build a workers' party. If we can get John McDonnell elected leader, we have a real chance of reclaiming our party.

The Blairites have disgraced our party for too long, leading the country into war in Afghanistan and Iraq and turning their backs on the unions that formed the party. We have at last a real chance to oust the hypocrites who have sold us out while smiling benignly and their spin doctors.

John McDonnell is the son of a docker and a shop worker. He was born in Liverpool in 1951. He was a production worker on the shop floor before becoming a trade union official for the National Union of Mineworkers then the TUC.

He won the seat of Hayes & Harlington on his second attempt with a 13,000 majority and has held the seat since with 60% of the vote. John is a community MP living and working in his constituency. He is the Chair of the Labour Representation Committee, a rank-and-file organisation for Labour Party supporters and trade unionists. He convenes RMT’s Parliamentary group and fights for the nationalisation of the railways and against PPP in public services.

He is Chair of the 'Public Services Not Private Profit' campaign which brings together 16 trade unions and several campaigning organisations set up to defend public services against privatisation.

He is a prominent member of the Stop The War Coalition and has campaigned tirelessly in Parliament against the war in Iraq.

John's anti-war, anti-privatisation stance would strike a chord with millions of people across the country and could help to stop the slide of votes to the BNP. He could give a voice to those who feel disenfranchised with the existing parties.

Off The Rails is initiating a ‘Railworkers for John McDonnell’ campaign network. Email: RailforMcDonnell@aol.com, or contact OTR (details on the back page) to get involved. And visit John’s website.

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